Long lines for COVID-19 drive-thru testing at Lot J
New testing lanes will be added Monday to deal with increased demand, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you weren’t in line for testing outside Lot J by 10 a.m. Sunday, chances were pretty good you would be asked to come back Monday.
The City of Jacksonville shared a photo showing cars in line, bumper-to-bumper along East Bay Street about 30 minutes after the testing site opened. The city has limited tests at the site to 250 a day.
There is a VERY large turnout for COVID-19 testing at Lot J this morning. The Department of Health and Human Services has limited tests at this site to 250 a day. Organizers advise that if you’re not in line within the hour, please come tomorrow.https://t.co/BCxR8bsQVK pic.twitter.com/5aMSukdhpS— City of Jacksonville (COJ) (@CityofJax) March 29, 2020
Nikki Kimbleton, spokesperson for Mayor Lenny Curry, said there were more than 200 cars in line when the testing site opened at 9 a.m.
The additional traffic comes after the city dropped the requirement for people to have a temperature of 99.6 degrees or higher to receive testing. To receive testing, people must still display respiratory symptoms like a dry cough or shortness of breath.
In order to deal with the influx of cars, Curry said in a tweet Sunday evening that new testing lanes will be added to Lot J starting Monday.
Between both drive-thru testing sites, more than 3200 tests for COVID-19 have been administered in the last 10 days. Tomorrow, we add testing lanes at Lot J & as a result, we expect to reach the test limit issued by the dept of health by mid afternoon. https://t.co/1E2GzRLMm1— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) March 29, 2020
The Lot J site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, or while supplies last. Curry said he expects the test limit to be reached by mid-afternoon.
Those who get tested at Lot J can check LabCorp’s website for results, according to Fire Chief Keith Powers.
The News4Jax newsroom has heard from many people who have been waiting several days and still haven’t received their test results. On Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that rapid COVID-19 tests are coming to Jacksonville.
DeSantis said Florida has obtained over 2,000 of the tests and that there are plans to send some of those tests to Jacksonville.
“I think this is really really significant because the problem with the testing we have now is these private labs are overrun. Ideally, they would want to turn it around in 24 to 48 hours but in fact, a lot of people have to wait three, four or five days to be able to get test results,” he said. “I think it also gives a lot of people peace of mind because they at least know what the result is.”
DeSantis also announced that he spoke with Abbott Laboratories in an attempt to secure more rapid COVID-19 tests which can process results even faster, in 5-15 minutes.
The test’s maker, Abbott Laboratories, said it expects to deliver 50,000 tests per day across the country beginning next week.
Other testing locations
The city-run testing site near the Prime Osborn Convention Center is open to Jacksonville residents only.
Patients need to undergo screening and get an appointment through Telescope Health. Doctors notes from other health care providers are not accepted.
Additionally, Ascension St. Vincent’s has been conducting drive-through testing. Patients who go to that site have to be pre-screened by an Ascension provider.
One way to be screened is by heading to Ascension.org/onlinecare. Users can also download an app.
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